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How Ecommerce Network Design Is Being Reshaped

| Mike O'Brien

A recent trend in ecommerce network design supports a strategy of “getting product closer to the customer,” a more efficient model that delivers on service-level promises. Then came COVID-19, upending everything and accelerating the pace of change in inventory and supply chain strategy, in turn affecting network design. Retailers and analysts discuss the current state and where it’s headed.

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Prime Day Squares Off Against Walmart, Target Deal Days

| Mike O'Brien

Let the Prime Day show begin! Or rather, make that shows, as Target and Walmart are once again offering up competitive summer bargain events as each tries to shake off the economic doldrums, steal the other’s thunder and stir up consumer interest in a raft of online savings. Amazon could use a win considering all the heat it’s facing, although expectations aren’t set high.

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Workers Strike Amazon Contractor in California

| Mike O'Brien

More than 80 delivery drivers and dispatchers for an Amazon contractor who just joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in April have initiated the first strike against Amazon at a hub in Palmdale, CA, saying the company needs to address wages and working conditions. Amazon begs to differ, saying it terminated the contract with the DSP, and that the Teamsters are making up facts.

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SellerX Acquires Elevate Brands; More Consolidation Expected

| Mike O'Brien

Talk of consolidation in the overcrowded Amazon aggregator space has come to fruition, as Berlin-based SellerX is acquiring Elevate Brands of Austin, giving the new company a combined portfolio of 80 Amazon brands, 40,000 products and a $431 million run rate. It was the second such deal after Suma and D1 Brands tied up in late May.

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Nearly a Quarter of Monthly Amazon Prime Subscribers Go On, Off

| Mike O'Brien

Just under a quarter of monthly Amazon Prime subscribers (23%) dropped the service for some period of time in the past year, with 41% having it for six months or less, most likely dipping in and out as their needs or checkbook dictate, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) data.

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Streetify Looks to Expand Virtual Shopping Streets

| Mike O'Brien

UK startup Streetify hopes to gain traction with a two-year-old app that creates virtual versions of physical streets and stores, where retailers and brands can display offers, discounts and links, and hopefully drive traffic to physical stores as well. The company says there are 1 billion stores in virtual form, compared to 4.4 million sites for Shopify.

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Webinar: The Generative AI Genie is Out of the Bottle

| Mike O'Brien

Generative AI, better known by the OpenAI version called ChatGPT in Microsoft’s Bing search engine, is suddenly everywhere all at once, shaking up whole industries and offering to optimize pretty much every single business function and solve all your problems. But what’s it all about? Join our webinar on June 8 to find out.

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Global Supply Chains Need Redefinition

| Brian Glick

Many will argue whether the pandemic was a White Swan or Black Swan event. In either case, the supply chain impacts did not create new trends or problem categories. Instead, they amplified underlying instabilities and dramatically accelerated the pace of change. Supply chain organizations and the companies that support them need to prepare for a world that is less predictable, less stable and faster moving.

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What Retailers and CPG Companies Can Learn from Each Other

| Lindsey Peters

Retailers and CPG companies have had a symbiotic relationship for decades, teaming up to offer customers more choice in convenient in-person and ecommerce storefronts. As both take on each other’s challenges, they must learn from the other’s processes and best practices to sustain new revenue streams in the long term based on evolving consumer behaviors, preferences and spending habits. 

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UPS: Most of Volume Decline Unrelated to Negotiations

| Mike O'Brien

UPS continues to see volume declines impacting results, as it steps up automation and finds other ways to drive greater efficiency in order to offset the decline, which helped boost revenue per piece in the first quarter even with the volume falloff. The company also remains confident of a Teamsters settlement, while working overtime to retain business and keeping a contingency plan at hand.